digitalDrummer May 2018 LR .pdf

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Edition 34 • May 2018



D. amps

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ABN: 61 833 620 984
30 Oldfield Place

Brookfield Q 4069
Editor & Publisher
Allan Leibowitz

Solana da Silva

Ben Ellingworth
Scott Holder

Wolfgang Stölzle
Raul Vargas

Chris Whitten

Cover Photo
Chris Rowe

Design and layout
‘talking business’

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digitalDRUMMER, May 2018

EUROPE’S BIGGEST MUSIC trade show has just wrapped up in
Frankfurt and there were two important features. One was
the launch of a new electronic drum line developed by German
music distributor GEWA and US acoustic drum maker DW.
As we report, GEWA flagged its intent to enter the e-drum
market half-a-dozen years ago, but now has what looks like an
impressive offering which it says will hit stores in the Northern
The second important aspect of MusikMesse was the
absentees. Roland, Pearl and Alesis were not represented,
while a number of big acoustic drum manufacturers were
similarly conspicuous by their absence.
Part of the reason is a shift in focus by the German show
organiser. A couple of years ago, it flagged its intention to
“broaden its focus”, moving away from a traditional trade
show and opening the doors to consumers. That move was an
attempt to re-invigorate an event which had been losing its
Many argued that Messe was shooting itself in the foot by
diluting its offering. The essence of a trade show is the ability
for manufacturers and distributors to speak directly to their
supply chain partners – in particular, to retailers. Trade shows
offer a secure environment for talking business, sharing future
plans and engaging with the people who ultimately determine
the success or failure of any new product: the retailers who
will put it on their sales floors, promote it and support it.
When you open these shows to the public, it’s harder to share
real information. You really don’t want to reveal to the public
the updated model and give them a reason to hold off buying
current stock. And you don’t want punters bashing your
prototypes and then slagging off to their friends.
So, the big names stay away and the shows lose relevance.
Nonetheless, we continue to visit the trade shows in the hope
of uncovering news – and we include a report on MusikMesse
in this edition.
This month, we also include a few reviews of new products,
including Roland’s latest drum monitors and the TM-6 Pro
hybrid module. And, by way of background, we hear from one
of the collaborators on the module’s sound design, Chris
Whitten. Meanwhile, we profile another collaborator, Kaz
Rodriguez, whose e-drum journey is an inspiration. Kaz shares
his drumming background and, importantly, tells us how he
uses technology to enhance his performance.
Other regular features this month include a lesson in shuffle
grooves from Raul Vargas and a look at Karl Franzen’s
Monster Kit.
Happy reading!



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digitalDrummer MAY 2018
GEWA/DW debut at Messe

A German-American collaboration was the e-drum highlight of
the recent MusikMesse in Frankfurt.

E-drums reach kids in need

digitalDrummer has previously reported on the use of e-drums
to combat bullying, but in Mexico, the instruments are helping a
broad range of vulnerable kids.

Roland returns to the fold(back)

It’s been a while since Roland launched anything new in the
monitor market, so Scott Holder had lots with which to compare
the new PM-100 and PM-200.

TM-2 gets a big brother

Roland has expanded its hybrid arsenal with a new ‘trigger
module’, a big brother to the TM-2.

Sampling to order

Chris Whitten, who toured with Paul McCartney and Dire
Straits, was among the artists who contributed samples to the
new Roland TM-6 Pro Trigger Module.


Sensory Percussion gets revamp and Simmons adds an
SD2000 app.

Powering the box

In recent years, the cajon has been transformed from an
acoustic box to an electronic instrument. So how can you bring
your cajon into the electronic age?

Expanding the mimicPRO

A new modelling pack lifts the mimicPRO to a new level, with
the sounds of classic kits and big-name drummers.

Adapter optimises CYs for 2box

A new adapter allows Roland cymbals to be used with a 2box
module, and digitalDrummer put it to the test.

digitalDrummer_May_2018.qxp_Layout 3 26/4/18 11:59 am Page 5


Stick to what you know?

An Italian manufacturer offers new carbon fibre sticks for edrums.

Profile: Kaz Rodriguez

Kaz Rodriguez is a composer, touring session drummer in the
pop scene and well known for his collaborations with Aaron
Spears, Anika Niles, Chris Coleman and Gerald Heyward.

How I use e-drums

Award-winning Australian drummer Ben Ellingworth adds colour
with electronics.

Crush expansion pack for BFD2

American drum maker Crush has no modesty when it comes to
describing its mid-range Sublime AXM Series as “truly a work of
playable art”.

Shuffle study

Raul Vargas looks at shuffle grooves, perhaps the most famous
of which is Toto’s Rosanna, originally played by Jeff Porcaro
and later, Simon Phillips.

My Monster Kit

This month’s showpiece is a converted acoustic kit powered by
Roland’s TD-50 brain, assembled by Karl Franzen from Clinton,

digitalDRUMMER, May 2018


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debut at

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A German-American collaboration was
the e-drum highlight of the recent
MusikMesse in Frankfurt.

first made its e-drum intentions known in
2011, when it showed a prototype drum
module under its now-defunct DrumCraft
Seven years later, GEWA is back,
collaborating with Drum Workshop for a
new e-drum line powered by the Drum
Workstation G9.

According to its press statement, GEWA
Music has worked on the project in close
co-operation with long-term partner Drum
Workshop over recent years. GEWA has
developed the module, e-cymbals,

electronic pads and the software, while DW
has produced the shell pack under its new
DWe brand.
GEWA is claiming its G9 “represents a
completely new concept for digital drums”.
Unique features include a 10” touchscreen
and a multi-chip design. The module has a
respectable 128 GB of internal memory to
house sound samples which will be
downloaded from the new GEWA
Electronics Cloud from the Sound Store –
following the ATV model (although it’s not
clear if the samples will be free or
purchased). Also like ATV, the samples will

GEWA’s module and pads are put through their paces
digitalDrummer, May 2018


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be custom-made for GEWA, recorded in
the famed Berlin Funkhaus Studio.

GEWA boasts HD triggering, including
“position detection”, which was previously
the exclusive domain of Roland modules.
GEWA has also turned to Roland’s mesh
head supplier, Remo USA, for its own
version of the two-ply playing surface,
dubbed True Rebound.

“The sound production relies on naturally
recorded sounds so that these digital
drums can be at one with an acoustic drum
kit. Up to 100 different layers of sound can
be reproduced, thanks to the True Velocity
technology,” it says.
The GEWA e-cymbals have the same
weight and dimensions as the Paiste 2002
series and include a 14” hi-hat and 14” and
18” cymbals.
For Drum Workshop, this venture
represents a step up from the KAT brand it
acquired from Fender.

Drum Workstation G9

DWe all-wood trigger shells feature Design
Series mini-turret lugs and are available in
Carbon Fiber Finishply and Exotic Walnut
The complete line of newly designed DWe
stands, pedals and rack systems includes
a host of DW drummer-friendly features
tailored for the electronic player, the
company notes.
The new line should hit stores in the
Northern autumn.

While much of the focus fell on GEWA,
Wolfgang Stölzle reports that many of the
big names were absent from this year's
MusikMesse. For example, Pearl wasn’t
there to show its MimicPRO, and market

digitalDrummer_May_2018.qxp_Layout 3 26/4/18 11:59 am Page 9

leader Roland also didn't show up in

Yamaha was one of a very few e-drum
manufacturers appearing with a huge
booth. The focus was on the EAD10 hybrid
device. It consists of a combined kick
trigger with a dynamic stereo microphone
plus a brain. The system also picked up an

award as the best electronic drumming
product at the show.

Sweden’s 2box presented the Drumit3,
successor of the discontinued Drumit5.
Drumit3 supports most types of pads from
Roland, Yamaha, etc. The demonstration
kit included a mixture of pads from various
third-party manufacturers.

The new DrumIt3 (top) and a massive Yamaha set-up (above)

digitalDrummer, May 2018


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